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ChE Alumna Bizios Elected to National Academy of Medicine

Professor Rena Bizios

Rena Bizios

Professor Rena Bizios, Ph.D., an undergraduate alumna from the Chemical Engineering Department, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Bizios is the Peter T. Flawn Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Visit faculty page

Election to the National Academy of Medicine is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Professor Bizios is recognized for making seminal contributions to the understanding of cell-material interactions, protein/cell interactions with nanostructured materials, and for identifying pressure/electric-current effects on cell functions related to neotissue formation. She is the author of the textbook An Introduction to Tissue-Biomaterial Interactions, which has become a standard textbook in the field of biomaterials and is presently adopted by more than 30 departments of biomedical engineering.

In making the announcement of 80 new members elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the organization’s President Victor J. Dzau said that “Our newly elected members represent the brightest, most influential, and passionate people in health, science, and medicine in our nation and internationally. They are at the top of their fields and are committed to service. The expertise they bring to the organization will help us respond to today’s most pressing health-related challenges and inform the future of health, science, and medicine. It is my privilege to welcome these distinguished individuals to the National Academy of Medicine.” See the official announcement

The research activities in the laboratory of Professor Bizios have focused on the areas of cellular and tissue engineering, tissue regeneration, biomaterials (including nanostructured ones), mechanisms of cellular responses to stimuli (chemical, mechanical, magnetic, electrical), and biocompatibility (specifically, cell/biomaterial interactions).

As Professor Bizios explained on her website, “Examples of such endeavors include: modification of material surfaces with immobilized, bioactive compounds such as select adhesive peptides; micropatterning of material surfaces in order to direct and control subsequent adhesion of specific cell lines in designated domains; and novel material formulations (specifically, nanoceramics and nanocomposites) with unique biocompatibility and/or improved mechanical and electrical properties.”

She added that “Cellular, in vitro models have been used to evaluate the cytocompatibility of these constructs and to determine the chemical conditions and biophysical (specifically, pressure, electric and magnetic) stimuli needed to promote neotissue growth. This research exemplifies alternative strategies and novel approaches of great potential for tissue regeneration purposes in tissue engineering and other biomedical applications.” (November 2015)